WE hear and read a lot of bad press about the younger generation.

Arguably one of the best ways to help instil positive values is to give youngsters a sense of belonging and purpose in their day-to-day lives.

If teenagers are a part of something positive, which appeals to them and helps to build social skills, it will tell in other aspects of their lives.

It will show at school, work and in their interaction with authority.

This is why Clacton’s skate park, which was built in 2004 through £200,000 of funding, is so important to a core group of young people.

Many have grown up using the park as a place to compete and encourage one another.

It has played a huge part in their social development and has served as a safe place to meet friends socially.

These spaces are few and far between in some areas.

The council must nurture its amenities that encourage children and teenagers to take part in sport and interact with each other in a positive way.

It must listen to youngsters when they speak up about the facilities that matter the most to them.

As always, communication with the younger generation is key.